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TRUMP TRANSITION WATCH: Meet “Mad Dog” Mattis
Retired Marine Gen. James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis is Trump’s pick for DOD. More, from NBC’s Hans Nichols and Halimah Abdullah: “Mattis is a tough talking retired Marine general who during the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 famously led the 1st Marine Division's rapid drive into Baghdad. Among his peers, Mattis has a reputation as a blunt military strategist… Mattis, a former commander of U.S. Central Command, which covers the Middle East, is considered a hardliner on Iran. His confrontational style on the matter was frowned up by the Obama administration, U.S. officials told NBC News.”
The AP notes that Mattis will need a waiver to serve. “U.S. law states that a nominee for defense secretary must have been out of the active-duty military for seven years. Mattis, 66, retired in 2013 after serving as the commander of the U.S. Central Command. The requirement was originally set by law in 1947, when Congress established a minimum of 10 years out of active duty. It was changed to seven years in 2008. But there's a way around that restriction: Congress can approve a law bypassing it. That's what will have to be done for Mattis.”
The Wall Street Journal notes that Mattis has ties to embattled startup Theranos.
So, this happened. From NBC’s Kasie Hunt: “A Harvard panel that traditionally writes the first draft of presidential campaign history devolved into a shouting match between Trump and Clinton aides on Thursday in a raw, emotional display echoing the divisive campaign. Jennifer Palmieri, who was Hillary Clinton's communications director, zeroed in on Steve Bannon, the incoming chief strategist for President-elect Donald Trump who once ran the web site Breitbart. "If providing a platform for white supremacists makes me a brilliant tactician, I am proud to have lost," said Palmieri, one of six Clinton aides who sat across tables from top Trump campaign staff at a forum moderated by three journalists, NBC News' Andrea Mitchell among them. ‘I would rather lose than win the way you guys did.’”
“As Donald Trump held a victory lap touting a decision by Carrier to keep an Indianapolis plant open rather than move the facility to Mexico, workers at another of the company's Indiana plants said they are still losing their jobs. Around 700 jobs will be lost when United Technologies Electronic Controls moves to Mexico sometime in 2018, workers told NBC News.”
More on the Carrier deal, from the New York Times: “company officials are acutely aware that its Pratt & Whitney unit, among other things, supplies jet engines to the Air Force’s most advanced fighter and many other planes, making it much more vulnerable to political pressure than other, lesser-known manufacturers that have been steadily closing shop in the Midwest and moving production south of the border.”
The Washington Post: “When Gary Cohn, president of Goldman Sachs, walked into Trump Tower earlier this week, it was just one of dozens of meetings President-elect Donald Trump as held with advisers, potential cabinet picks and well wishers over the last few weeks. But on Wall Street, Cohn’s presence in the gold-accented lobby represented something much bigger: One of the world’s most important banks is making its way back into Washington’s inner circle. After years on the sideline, Goldman Sachs and the rest of the Wall Street elite are poised to come roaring back.”
“President-elect Donald Trump has disclosed owning millions of dollars of stock in companies with business pending before the U.S. government and whose value could rise as a result of his policies. Trump’s stock holdings, which are separate from the more high-profile real estate and branding empire that he has said he will separate from in some fashion, represent another area rife with potential conflicts of interest that Trump has yet to address as he prepares to take office,” writes the Washington Post.
Who’ll head the RNC? The New York Times: “A person close to Mr. Trump said the president-elect’s allies are coalescing around Nick Ayers, a member of the transition team, to be the party’s chairman. Mercedes Schlapp, another Republican operative, is being considered for a role as co-chairwoman.”
Trump said yesterday that his Supreme Court pick will be coming “pretty soon.”
TRUMP AGENDA: The danger of winging it on diplomatic calls
From the New York Times: “Trump’s Breezy Calls to World Leaders Leave Diplomats Aghast”
His first rally after his election win sounded.. a lot like the old Trump.
The Washington Post notes: “Weighed down by a backlog of more than 520,000 cases, the United States immigration courts are foundering, increasingly failing to deliver timely, fair decisions to people fighting deportation or asking for refuge, according to interviews with lawyers, judges and government officials… The courts will be a major obstacle for President-elect Donald J. Trump and his plans to deport as many as three million immigrants he says have criminal records. Many of those deportations — at least hundreds of thousands — would have to be approved by immigration judges.”
Paul Ryan says he’s discussed the Constitution “extensively” with Trump.
DEM WATCH: Kaine back on the Hill
Tim Kaine is back on the Hill, returning to familiar refrains, writes NBC’s Kailani Koenig.